Attentional capture by sound disappearance

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Brosowsky, Nicholaus Paul
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Three experiments are reported in which the attentional capture effect of sound disappearance was assessed. In all experiments participants were required to judge the pitch of target sounds that were preceded by one or more context sounds. In Experiments 1 and 2, targets presented in the same location as a context sound that had abruptly terminated 100 ms before its presentation, were identified better than target sounds presented in a different location. This result was obtained both when targets followed a single context sound (Experiment 1) and when targets followed pairs of dichotically-presented context sounds that terminated at different points (Experiment 2). The results of Experiment 3 replicated those obtained in the previous experiments and showed that under some conditions the facilitative effect could persist at intervals longer than 100 ms. The results of these experiments suggest that under some conditions, the disappearance of a sound can capture attention.
auditory, sound, disappearance, offset, capture